Top 6 Things to Know About HIV

Top 6 Things to Know About HIV

Top 6 Things to Know About HIV 1280 768 nodMD

Where did HIV come from?

Scientists have identified a subspecies of chimpanzees in Central Africa as the source of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in humans. They believe that the chimpanzee version of the immunodeficiency virus (called simian immunodeficiency virus or SIV) was likely transmitted to humans and mutated into HIV when these chimpanzees were hunted for meat and humans came into contact with their infected blood. Studies have shown that HIV may have jumped from apes to humans as far back as the late 1800s1.

Read More: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html

Can I get HIV from shaking hands, hugging, using the same toilet, kissing, or from being sneezed or coughed on from someone who has HIV?

No. Hugging, shaking hands, sharing the same toilet, sneezing, or coughing on does not transmit HIV. If kissing does occur and one or both partners have sores or bleeding gums present then there is a possibility of transmission. However, HIV is not transmitted through saliva. Furthermore, HIV is not transmitted through sweat, tears, urine, feces, mosquitoes or other blood-sucking insects, pets, or through the air2.

Read More: https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/transmission.html

Need to get tested? Interested in PrEP?

See one of our HIV specialists online or in-person. Most insurances accepted

Schedule your Appointment

How many people in the United States have HIV?

Approximately 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV and about 15 percent (1 in 7) are unaware they are infected. In 2017, there were 38, 739 people who received an HIV diagnosis in the United States3.

Read More: https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/data-and-trends/statistics

Will HIV medications make me sicker?

Unfortunately, all medications can have side effects. However, HIV medications are allowing people to live longer and healthier than ever before. Side effects can last a few days to a couple of weeks. Common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty sleeping, headache, rash, dizziness, and fatigue. Unfortunately, some side effects can be very serious and even life-threatening such as swelling of the face, eyes, lips, throat, or tongue. It is important that if you are taking HIV medications to discuss with your healthcare provider about any side effects or concerns you may have. Stopping HIV medication can lead to a worsening immune system and even increase the risk of drug resistance4.

Read More: https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/understanding-hiv-aids/fact-sheets/22/63/hiv-medicines-and-side-effects

Does HIV cause AIDS? What is AIDS?

HIV can lead to AIDS, which stands for acquired immunodeficiency syndrome if left untreated. AIDS is the most severe and advanced stage of HIV infection that occurs in people with badly damaged immune systems, which can take 2 to 15 years to develop, leading to opportunistic infections such as Kaposi sarcoma, lymphoma, Pneumocystis pneumonia, and Mycobacterium infections5.

Read More: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hiv-aids

Can I get another kind of HIV if I already have HIV?

Yes, this is called a superinfection. HIV superinfection occurs when an HIV infected individual is infected with a new distinct HIV viral strain. HIV superinfection has been reported throughout the world and is likely even underreported. Studies have reported incidences of 0% to 7.7% per year. Several studies have suggested that HIV superinfection may occur at rates comparable to initial HIV infection. Unfortunately, the risk factors for superinfection have not clearly been identified, although it is suspected that the risk factors are the same as in primary infections, such as increased number of sexual partners, injecting drugs, non-marital relationships, lack of antiviral medication, limited condom use, and absence of male circumcision6.

Read More: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3752600/

References:

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/whatishiv.html
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/basics/transmission.html
  3. https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/data-and-trends/statistics
  4. https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/understanding-hiv-aids/fact-sheets/22/63/hiv-medicines-and-side-effects
  5. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hiv-aids
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3752600/